The long absence has been due to the business of life, and trying to honor my friend by living more presently with my family, instead of hiding away with my computer. But today is a special day, and it is time to enjoy the blue skies on this wonderful autumn day. To get up from the hearth, and enjoy being out in the world.
I grew up on Texas pecans, and I love them in all sorts of creations. When I was tiny, my grandmother had the care of me much of the time. In the hill country of Texas, pecan trees were plentiful. My great grandmother had them in her yard and neighborhood, as did my grandmother. As women who lived during the depression years, they could not walk by a pecan without picking it up and pocketing it. Once home, the men usually shelled them while watching the evening news, and they were placed in recycled jars with screw top lids… like coffee jars, ice tea jars. Then they were placed in the freezer.
My grandmother’s cream cheese cookies, the Thanksgiving pecan pie, the stuffing, the mint brownies, the oatmeal raisin cookies.. all benefited from the addition of those wonderful pecans. Divinity, fudge, mashed yams, and many coffee cakes required their presence. Walking with these women, in the evening, up and down their neighborhood streets, picking up pecans and hording them in our pockets, clicking our tongues at the wastefulness of SOME people to leave them so carelessly scattered over their lawns…
Today I have 2 trees of my own. They bear fantastically one year, then not so much the next. And since I went back to work full time, some years I am great at getting in a store, and some years too busy. This is a year where I am making sure they are being picked up. When I took these pictures, we were still several weeks away from their harvest. The cases are just now splitting open and letting the nuts fall to the ground. Some get eaten immediately. Others are now waiting to be shelled and saved for the holiday baking to come.